Defiant Plantation Athletic League Thumbs Nose At City


The Plantation Athletic League and the City of Plantation are on a collision course and appear headed to court.


The defiant PAL board of directors continues to ignore letters from city hall to change their ways, despite the threat of a law suit, say city officials.

The city says it will cancel PAL’s contract to operate at Plantation-owned fields and facilities unless the non-profit group agrees to more city oversight.  The city has also demanded documents, which PAL has refused to turn over.

PAL President Evan Krakower appeared to me to be outlining a future lawsuit to block city action:

“We have a valid contract and we are abiding by it. I don’t think anyone has the right to break a contract if the material facts have not changed.

City Attorney Don Lunny Jr.  said the city is ready to go to court.

“We have been authorized to institute litigation to compel compliance, Lunny warned Krakower in a June 4 letter obtained by

Lunny’s letter demanded for the second time a list of documents it wants to obtain. 

“PAL has continued to frustrate the city’s efforts to obtain residency information which is critical for the city to be able to confirm that PAL has met or is meeting its commitments, Lunny wrote.  “The first phase of the documents must be received by the Office of the Mayor by 4:30 p.m., June 23, 2009, or a lawsuit against PAL will be filed.

The letter from Lunny is the latest in a year-long battle between city hall and PAL, which has a contract to run athletic programs at city facilities. 

At the heart of the dispute is allegations that non-profit PAL misspends money it gets from parents.  The money amounts to millions. 

The group is alleged to have misplaced $104,000 and is accused of allowing former Commissioner Rico Petrocelli to use PAL money to throw a political party.

The city also wants to know if it is primarily serving Plantation residents, or serves a large number of youths from outside the city.

Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong told PAL on May 7 that the city would cancel its contract with the group unless they changed their board of directors. The new directors also must have stronger control over its finances, she said.

The group ignored her letter.  

PAL is also thumbing its nose at the mayor with its slate of candidates in Tuesday’s election.   

Despite the city’s demand for a new board of directors, the current president Krakower is running for re-election.  A second candidate for president is another current director.

Krakower also is running for vice president.

The documents Lunny demanded include the rosters for all the PAL teams with the team members addresses.  The city also wants a list of the officials, referees, coaches and umpires of the games. 

Meanwhile, sources say that agents for the state Ethics Commission have been in the city investigating Petrocelli’s party. 




16 Responses to “Defiant Plantation Athletic League Thumbs Nose At City”

  1. Straight Talk says:

    The investigation will take determine anyting involving Rico. The City decides who runs their youth programs. They have that right and can cancel contracts for cause or convenience. If PAL doesn’t cooperate with the City they should be replaced. It is the City and not PAL that decides.

  2. Bill Bzdek says:

    The facts :

    The Mayor and I signed the current contract April 15, 2004 after 3 years of tough negotiations to replace the previous 1983 contract.

    Everything the city wanted is in that contract. Everything!!!!!!

    It has been posted on the PAL website for 5 years.

    It renewed Sept. 30, 2007 ” No problems and no concerns from Jim Romano , Director of Parks and Rec.”

    Along comes Tom Jimenez ( Under indictment by the FCC) who takes financial information , makes a list of 50 plus sweeping accusations and questions )( Micheal Corelone did this and Micheal Corelone did that ) and somehow he meets with the Mayor

    who violates Article 10 ( which she asked for in the contract because city hall prior to this contract was hammered with ( Why did my daughter not make the A Team ? ) The uniforms suck ! ( I hate my coach) and issues of personalities and yes even financial issues .
    The city insisted on Article 10 !!

    The Mayor broke the contract, that is a fact!

    Jimenez now convicted felon , I suspect he wanted to be a hero and tell the Judge ” Yes I was Bad but look what I did ,I saved all the poor kids of PAL whose money has been squandered and wasted and stolen by all of those horrible Volunteers on the board. ” Please take that into account when you sentence me. ”

    So commence the drama , Make no mistake Mayor Armstrong is an excellent poltician , as Mayor not so much.

    This is about control, amazing in America she has the balls to tell an elected board who she wants on it .

    This is also about the failure of her Director of Parks and Recreation to properly administer this contract.

    The city can conduct an audit anytime it wants Article 11 ( Financials )

    The audit said at worst ” sloppy bookeeping” no thefts, no missing money , misinterpeted journal entrys “. Does have outside accounting firm ( rare for any youth organizations ) does have another firm do taxes.

    City should have done audit prior to renewing contract . Where was Jim Romano?

    As to Lunney the rainmaker who you quote in the article . His Dads name was on the 1983 contract.

    He got paid a whole lot of money to write the last 5 letters against PAL and for all of his work on the current contract and for sure he wants to sue . Yee Haa !

    I hope the current city council has the guts to ask Mr. Romano why we are in this position today and I hope they for once take a correct position with the Mayor.

    Water Bills going up 30 % and we are going to sue PAL.

    I am extremely proud of the years I spent coaching and serving PAL and very proud of all of the dedicated volunteers , including all of the board members who have worked their ass’s off and get vilified . They get a brick in their name at Liberty Tree Park !

    Last time I checked the Mayor and Jim Romano and Mr. Lunny get paid fairly well.

    Thank you in advance for posting this , Bill Bzdek

  3. Coach W says:

    PAL has been run for a select few who act like dictators and spend money like drunks. It is very good that the mayor has finally called them to account for themselves.

  4. Pal Volunteer says:

    Bill, you were a long winded joke when you served on the board and nothing has changed. Hooray for the mayor for having the back bone to break up this dictatorship. How dare this small group spend this money like it’s their personal piggy bank. How dare they?

  5. Bill Bzdek says:

    Thank you however what I wrote was true. PAL actually is a very open organization.
    Monthly meeting open to the public and posted . Actual attendance is worse than city council almost no one comes . Minutes of meetings posted . By_ Laws and city contract on the website.

    Financials given to the city monthly and to any member that requests.

    Most Youth Sports Organizations dont come close .

    The Mayor’s husband on the record at city council in 2001 The Famous Tom of Town Mall fame ” The problem with PAL is not PAL its the leadership”.

    The Mayor nor Jim Romano have been happy with PAL Leadership since Laney Stearns resigned in 1999 to take a job with Parks and REC that led to him being a Chief with the fire department. ( Sweetheart deal )His handpicked successor Keith Kinly lasted less than 6 months after Laney resigned as President . Jim Romano was very angry that Mr. Kinly was asked to leave. You go figure that one out.

    Marty Cooper
    Bill Bzdek
    Joanne Greenwood
    Evan Krakower

    Yep we must all have bad breath !

    Couldn’t be Jim Romano needs to go to the dentist?

    Hope this was windy enough for you.

    Since you are so concerned about money why not ask the Mayor ( who has been in city government over 30 years how much we spend with Mr Lunneys law firm and why and how he got the job in the first place?

    And if you were truly concerned ( America being a nation of laws and contracts ) maybe you should ask her why she broke the contract ?

    Thanks again for the post , Bill” Long winded ” Bzdek

  6. Stokastikos says:

    The scope of the audit did not include internal control. It is clear from both the audit and supplemental report that had internal control been included in the scope of the audit, the auditor’s opinion would have been quite different.

    PAL’s financial statements accurately reflect the financial position of that organization on the date the audit was issued. Period.

    The supplemental report raises multiple issues, some merely ethical while others do in fact rise to the level of introducing a legal cause of action. In at least one instance, it appears a substantial amount of the organization’s money was booked as an unsecured loan to an unrelated third party. The amount of the loan had to be written off, as noted by the external auditor.

    It is improbable that engaging in lending is within the scope of this particular 501c3’s charter. If PAL thinks the City is being unreasonable, they betray a lack of experience with the IRS. It would behoove the PAL Board to familiarize itself with the IRS’ current conflict of interest policy for exempt organizations.

    The City is correct to pursue the matter and the alternative would be more unpleasant for the PAL Board. A real but unspoken issue which should be in front of that group for consideration is as follows: “How thoroughly screwed will we be if the mayor gets tired of our crap and flips the entire matter over to the IRS for determination?”.

  7. PAL Friend says:

    Bill Bzdek –

    You continue to attack Jimenez, even though he was just a messenger. People who know Tom know that you are way off base on your supposition of his motivation.

    Unfortunately for you and your friends, the end does justify the means. However, assuming changes will occur, the children of Plantation will benefit the most.

    If you read the PAL June 2008 minutes, Evan Krakower told the board that Jimenez stated that he did not feel there was money misappropriated, but misallocated.

    Results speaks for themselves:

    In 2008 alone, PAL lost over $76,000. I doubt if PAL knows how much was lost in 2007 and 2006. Do you know how much money was made or lost during your term?

    Basketball commissioner was using PAL to benefit his political career.

    The PAL president was receiving the concession fees in cash and where the cash was deposited cannot be found.

    The previous treasurer embezzled over $100,000 and the board managed to settle and improperly write off some of the money not recovered. Do you know why much money was written off and kept hush-hush?

    How much were your cell phone bills that you charged to PAL? Maybe over $400 a month? How much beer did you consume during your term on PAL funds?

    Aren’t you glad that the audit was done, so that you can say that you didn’t do anything wrong?

    Any and ALL PAL parents should be happy that these problems have been brought up and actions taken to correct them.

  8. Bill Bzdek says:

    Thank you and and I got called longwinded. Smile!

    The city set and determined the scope of the audit. Fact!

    Sadly Matt McAloon filed a complaint with the IRS against PAL after losing his election bid March of 2006 for conflict of interest of its 501c3 charter . He did this in support of Sioban Edwards election bid in August of 2006 . Dirty Politic’s . Sound like recent history for Planatation?
    Election and Politics 2009!

    The IRS investigated the complaint and financials of PAL at that time and gave the organization a clean bill of health . Fact !

    It is easy to make complaints and accusations , happens all of the time , sadly no one wants to be around for the facts.

    Thanks for the comments however city was in complete control of the audit and scope . Fact.

    ” Facts are stubborn things”
    Rene Le Sage

    ” What appears to be is many times not ”
    Grape Nuts

    Bill Bzdek

  9. PAL Friend says:

    Bill – With all the problems that have been disclosed in the audit, and the PAL’s promise to clean up, can you actually say this is not what’s best for PAL and the kids? Do you really not mind it if PAL loses $76,000 in one year?

  10. Pal Volunteer says:

    Bill Bzdek has one onjective in this entire PAL disaster: to do something, anything to hurt Jim Romano who he despises. It is comepletely personal and not based on anything but hate. Evan Krakower also is pusuing this for personal reasons. He can’s get his way and is throwing a tantrum !! Poor baby. The entire PAL board needs to do what’s best for everyone…resign and go hide in a dark place.

  11. End Of The Story says:

    PAL parents should attend tonight’s election for PAL officers at Central Park at 7 p.m. and vote out the current board.
    What the PAL board needs to explain is where is the money, what was it used for and why are they so intent on secrecy? Vote them out.

  12. Bill Bzdek says:

    Dear PAL Friend and PAL Volunteer , thanks for your comments . Admire your courage since i am all out here by my lonesome.

    Jim Romano has not managed the contract . It his job , for sure we dont trade Christmas cards , but this is business.

    Administer the contract as you would say the Waste Managment Contract, just business.

    If Jim had done his job and reviewed the contract prior to it renewing all of this could have been been handled in a much more civilized way. That was the intent of the contract. Read it!

    As to Thomas Y Jimenez , google him , he was who he was before he ever got involved in this mess which he caused by making flase accusations . I do question his motive and am amazed the Mayor allowed him access and broke the contract. 3 years in jail and $550,00 fine . Yikes!

    As to the current financial position of PAL I would assume the Board would take the corrective action needed to run the program at a break even or better.

    1996 loss
    1997 loss
    1998 even
    1999 loss
    2000 even
    2001 black
    2002 in the black
    2003 in the black
    2004 in the black
    2005 in the black
    2006 in the black
    2007 dont know
    2008 dont know

    Beer not to much
    cell phone maybe $200 a month while president ( more PAL calls than business)

    Please feel free to continue to poke the bear. Thanks Bill

  13. Plantation Truth says:

    Are you people kidding me…..
    In light of the “doom and gloom” budget shortfall that is coming this year to the city(perceived at that)…..
    We cant as ADULTS….work out these differences instead of Mr. Lunny having to file a lawsuit that will cost thousands?????
    The city has already announced that most of their hardworking employees will not be getting raises this year..
    Lawsuit money that could be well spent on other things in this city….like public safety, employee raises, benefits etc
    All you people in city goverment make me sooooo mad!!!!!
    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty: – Thomas Jefferson

  14. Hey Buddy says:

    Is it just me or are these people psychos? Now I really believe they need a change over there. Too many stories, too much drama, too many problems.

  15. Plantation Athletics League’s “Election” Is A Farce : says:

    […] A previous posts on PAL is here.   And here. […]

  16. PAL Friend says:

    Bill – There you go again. In the June 2008 meeting, Krakower told the board that Jimenez stated that he didn’t feel there was misappropriation. What false accusation are you talking about.

    Stop the diversion. PAL was being mismanaged and the messenger did not cause the mismanagement.

    I googled Jimenez. He pled guilty to nonfiling of corporate documents. He didn’t steal like the previous treasurer who you’re protecting. I do wonder why you’re protecting him, after he stole more than $100,000.